More than 1 million patients forced to get a new GP after seven-fold rise in practice closures

From Daily Telegraph: More than a million patients have been forced to get a new GP amid a seven-fold rise in practice closures, an investigation reveals. Family doctors said elderly patients were being left to travel long distances, warning of a “timebomb” as shortages of GPs spread across the country.

[Read full article on Telegraph website…]

GPs offered cash to refer fewer people to hospital

From The Guardian: GPs are being offered cash payments not to refer patients to hospital, in a move which leading family doctors have criticised as ethically questionable and a risk to health.

NHS bodies in four parts of England are using schemes under which GP practices are given up to half of the money saved by sending fewer patients to hospital for tests and treatment.

The disclosure by the GP website Pulse about the controversial “profit share” initiatives operated by the four NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) has triggered a row. Critics said the schemes were the latest example of NHS bodies increasingly resorting to the rationing of care to help them operate within their budgets.

NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG has offered to give groups of practices working together in its area 50% of savings made from GPs referring fewer patients for dermatology care, ear, nose and throat treatment in the community, and minor surgery and wound closure.

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Public satisfaction with GP services drops to lowest level in 35 years

From The King’s Fund: The latest results of the National Centre for Social Research’s British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey make sobering reading for general practice – usually the highest rated NHS service in the survey. Public satisfaction with general practice dropped by 7 percentage points in 2017 to 65 per cent, the lowest level since the survey began in 1983.

Satisfaction has been steadily decreasing for close to a decade from a high of 80 per cent in 2009.

[Read full article on King’s Fund website…]

One million patients a week cannot get a GP appointment

From the Daily Telegraph: One million patients a week cannot get appointments with GPs, amid the longest waiting times on record, new figures show. Doctors said they were working “flat out” but under “unsustainable” pressure, leaving “worrying” numbers of patients without any help.

[Read full article on Telegraph website…]